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Should Bangladesh Proceed With Plans To Control Its Annual River Flooding? Why?

1162 words - 5 pages

Should Bangladesh proceed with plans to control its annual river flooding?The floods in Bangladesh cause huge amounts of damage and large numbers of people are killed every year. It is therefore likely that development of Bangladesh is retarded producing one of the poorest countries in the world. Controlling the flooding would ensure development, and life could continue without the threat of flooding, but would it ensure future protection from catastrophic flooding? There are presently many arguments on whether the floods in Bangladesh should be controlled. Through this essay I will discuss whether plans to control the flooding in Bangladesh should be adopted and the impacts this may ...view middle of the document...

This is an extremely difficult task; rivers, lakes and swamps take up 10% of the land, so the sheer cost of levying every potential channel that could act as a flood risk is extremely expensive. The amount of time required plan test and construct such flood defences could be up to 100 years, so there is no "quick fix". The maintenance cost of such a defence once built would follow into billions of dollars a year, the maintenance of defences of the Mississippi flood plain are 85 million dollars a year. These defences being on a much smaller scale than those that would needed on rivers in Bangladesh. Bangladesh might struggle to reach prosperity once defences of such magnitude were built. Another problem is that flood defences of such size have never been built and so engineers simply do not know what will happen after construction. The sheer size of levees, that would be required would be huge, and how would engineers plan for huge floods such as that of the 1993 Mississippi on rivers the size of the Ganges and Brahmaputra would be extremely difficult cost wise.The problem being is that should the defences be constructed to ensure Bangladesh's development. With flood defences and river management would could more efficient farming. The river would be narrowed and so land reclaimed and possibly alleviating overcrowding. The rivers are so long that they could be well used for transporting industrial goods. Water management would enable irrigation and crops such as high yield rice, which would produce a much more cost-effective crop, yield to be produced. This high production crop is believed would boost the economy bringing in much needed income to the country. There would be fewer famines as the 7.16 hectares of crops destroyed each year would be saved. The growth rate of Bangladesh is also huge, the population is expected to increase by 60 million in the next 10 years. With such a large growth rate Bangladesh certainly needs flood defences, as with an increasing population when there is a catastrophic flood huge numbers of people will die. Many arguments against construction of defences are based upon the successes of the Mississippi River defences and the great flooding of 1993. Opposition against construction of similar defences view that rivers simply cannot be controlled. The case is though that the Mississippi defences did work, they...

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